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National Assembly proposes 235 new tertiary institutions

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The National Assembly is considering bills seeking for the establishment of 235 new federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and specialised institutions despite poor funding of the existing federal tertiary institutions.

The bills are currently at different stages of legislative activities at the National Assembly.

Checks by Daily Trust show that the Federal Government currently has 119 universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics.

Various labour unions in the tertiary institutions and the federal government often haggle over salaries and other school running costs, hence frequent strikes by staff of the institutions.

In 2020, a strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over a payroll system and condition of the universities lasted nine months.

Not long after ASUU ended its strike, another union, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of non-teaching staff unions of universities, which comprises Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), declared a nationwide industrial action over salaries.

Despite the funding anomalies, there are over 200 bills seeking to establish tertiary institutions in different states of the federation before the National Assembly.

The analysis of such bills under the 9th National Assembly shows that out of the 235 bills for the establishment of the institutions, 111 are being considered in the senate and 124 in the House of Representatives.

Out of the 111 bills in the senate, 40 are for the establishment of universities; eight for polytechnics; while 35 and 28 are for colleges of education and specialised institutes respectively.

A further breakdown of the 40 proposed universities indicate that all but one are specialised institutions. Of the specialised universities, technology tops the list with 10, closely followed by agriculture with eight. Education has six, medical and health sciences have four and maritime two.

There are also bills seeking the establishment of one university each for sports, environment, history and archaeology, entrepreneurship, food technology, steel, creative arts, film and broadcasting, as well as aerospace and aeronautics.

The senate is also considering bills to establish 21 colleges of education; five colleges of agriculture and four colleges of forestry. Health science/midwifery has three bills and one each for crop science, maritime studies and naval architecture.

For the proposed institutes, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tops the list with seven; followed by fisheries and aquaculture, and mines and geological studies, which have two each.

Other specialised institutes being proposed are those of business, administration, stockbrokers, facility management, mediation, security, border studies, building and road research, metallurgy, cancer research, development, directors, power engineers, environment, bitumen and local government and public administration; one each.

Education

Transportation challenges: UNILORIN okays virtual lectures for large classes

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The University of Ilorin has announced the commencement of virtual lectures for large classes as part of measures to address transportation challenges facing both students and lecturers.

Already, it said on Monday that the university had assigned 500 user accounts of 300-capacity zoom licences to various faculties and departments for the immediate commencement of virtual classes.

A statement issued on Monday by Unilorin spokesman, Kunle Akogun, stated that the virtual classes would run simultaneously with physical classes.

The statement read in part, “About 500 user accounts of 300 capacity zoom licences have been assigned to faculties and departments for effective virtual delivery of lectures.

“We have also developed virtual class schedule for courses with class sizes of about 1000, 3000, and 5000 students, using the large capacity zoom licences.

“Physical delivery of lectures/practical sessions in classrooms/laboratories is very important and should be consciously sustained.”

According to him, in the wake of the transportation challenges facing the students and staff of the university, the management rolled out several measures to mitigate the effect of the unfortunate situation on the students in particular.

“These included the directive to the Time-Table and Room Usages Committee to adjust lecture time-table to make it more flexible.

“The management also renewed the university’s zoom licences to activate the virtual lecture option,” he said.

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University of Calabar suspends HoD for one year over extortion

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The University of Calabar has ordered the immediate suspension of Head of the Department of Pharmacology, Sylvester Ohadoma, for alleged extortion of students.
This was revealed in a statement by the registrar of the institution, Gabriel Egbe, in Calabar, on Monday.
Egbe said Ohadoma was removed as the HoD, for “consistently flouting” the university Senate’s directives concerning extortion and collection of unapproved levies from students.
He said the decision was in tandem with management’s decision to rid the institution of all forms of unethical practices, especially extortion of students.
“Management received a report that Ohadoma as HoD, Pharmacology and Coordinator of the course, Principles of Pharmacology 322, illegally charged and collected the sum of N3,200 from students for what he termed “practical fees”.
“This is even as Ohadoma is said to have extorted the same amount from students in the previous semesters, in addition to selling textbooks for as much as N12,000 each to students in flagrant contravention of management’s directive,” he said.
Egbe said the present administration of the university finds it repulsive that one who should take the lead in protecting the integrity of the institution was involved in such unwholesome practices.
He added that the university’s management would not condone any unethical practice by staff.
He said, “As part of disciplinary measures, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, has approved that Ohadoma should be relieved of his appointment as HoD and Coordinator of Principles of Pharmacology 322, with effect from January 23, 2023.
“Management has further instructed that all official responsibilities hitherto handled by Ohadoma, including teaching and supervision, are to be reassigned to other qualified lecturers in the department.
“Ohadoma is barred from having any direct academic interface with students for one year.
“Ohadoma has been further ordered to refund all unauthorised monies which he collected from students and provide evidence of such refund to the vice-chancellor through the Director, SERVICOM within the next month.
“While hoping that this will serve as a deterrent to others, management has directed the Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, to ensure strict and full compliance with the directives.”

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Police confirm kidnap of six pupils from Nasarawa school

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The police have confirmed the kidnap of six pupils of a public primary school in in Nasarawa State.
The gunmen were said to have attacked the school on Friday morning.
Rahman Nansel, police spokesperson in the state, confirmed the development.
Nansel added that a search-and-rescue operation is ongoing .
“Confirmed. 6 were abducted. They invaded the school at about 0710hrs. Search and rescue ongoing and led by the CP as he has met and commiserated with the parents of the victims,” he said via text message.
Nasarawa is one of the north-central states battling insecurity.
Over the years, there have been attacks on Nasarawa communities, leading to killings, abductions, and displacement

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